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Title: An ethnomethodological exploration of police officers' use of a cognitive aid when encountering people with a potential mental disorder
Author: Mcglen, Ivan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 6367
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2018
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Aim: This study investigated a police officer's situation awareness , when encountering a potentially mentally disordered person. This underpinned the development of a cognitive aid to support them during such encounters. Background Up to 40% of police encounters are associated with someone experiencing a mental disorder. Operational difficulties due to situational complexity, and the police officer's ignorance regarding the features of mental disorder, often translate into flawed situation awareness. This study built upon the work of Wright et al. (2008) with Lancashire Constabulary. Method: An ethnomethodological design was employed, viewed through the theoretical lenses of symbolic interactionism and Endsley's (1988) situation awareness framework. Completed in two stages, stage one utilised narrative synthesis, and individual semi-structured interviews with eight police officers. Data was thematically analysed to identify emerging themes which underpinned the cognitive aid's development. Stage two employed a pre-post-test design, utilising video vignettes, note-taking exercises, and focus group interviews with seventeen police officers. The cognitive aid was used operationally prior to conducting semi-structured interviews with ten police officers. Results: Emergent themes identified that pre-encounter factors shaped police officers' situation awareness. This governed their assessment of danger, often resulting in pre-set behaviours to control a situation. Police officers demonstrated improved situation awareness, recognising and responding to a greater range of features of mental disorder when they used the cognitive aid. Contribution of new knowledge: This was the first study to explore a police officer's situation awareness, when encountering a potentially mentally disordered person. It identifies features police officers associate with mental disorder. The findings highlighted the effect of pre-encounter factors and their influence upon the perception of danger. Significantly, the cognitive aid caused a paradigm shift from one defined by an assumption of criminality, to one defined by the interpersonal in which police officers recognised and responded to a person's mental health and well-being.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B700 - Nursing